If you’re about ready to adopt a new dog, and wonder what kind of dog food you should feed him or her, read on and learn about what you should consider first.
Next month my husband and I we’ll be adopting a bonded pair of dogs, now is the time to do the food research, because as we’ve learned not all dog foods are created equal.
The best food to feed your rescue dog is a quality dog food free from processed meats, refined sugars, grains, or flours. Feeding your dog wild caught salmon, chicken, fruits or vegetables is a healthy alternative to a packaged dog food.
Decide if you want to transition your dog from the old food he was used to eating at the shelter to a newer quality food.
Next, determine whether you want to feed the dog dry kibble, wet food, a combination of the two. If you decide you’d like to offer a new brand of food to your dog, make sure to add a little bit of the new food to the old food using a 3/1 with 75% of old food mixed with 25% of the new food for the first three days.
Years ago our pets lived to 18, 20 and 22 years old. This could quite possibly have to do with the fact that there weren't these nicely colored packaged foods sitting on shelves for our convenience.
Make it a practice to read the label of anything you feed your dog. But, how do you know if the foods and ingredients are a good quality on your dog food label?
Here’s a list of the worst dog food ingredients to avoid in most general pet food brands.
Additionally, be sure to avoid any foods listing meat meal, meat by-products, poultry meal, poultry by-products, fish meal, fish oil, gluten or grains in general.
Now that you’ve avoided those in the list above. Here’s a few alternatives to those ingredients:
I've tested these brands out with my Weimaraner and they're very high quality
Orijen Six Fish Dry Dog FoodBelow is the actual ingredients on the Orijen Six Fish Food bag
If you just got home from the shelter or place you rescued your dog from and have nothing immediately on hand, but you know you want to move away from whatever the dog was eating Look for some canned vegetables like peas, carrots, and corn (rinsed to remove extra sodium)
Canned chicken and fish packed in water (thoroughly rinsed and drained) Low-sodium beef, chicken, or vegetable broth.
Another option is a plain apple, or freeze it - makes a great snack for chewing on, and less expensive than the chemical filled chew bones you buy.
There are foods to avoid - and I wanted to make sure you had a very handy list to refer to.
Below are the top 13 foods to avoid
#2: Garlic And Onions.
#4: Grapes And Raisins.
#6: Cooked Bones.
#7: Sugar Free Human Food.
#8: Apple Seeds
#9: Asparagus - too tough to eat raw
#10: Cherries - as the plants contain cyanide and are toxic for dogs
#11: Mushrooms - Wild mushrooms can be very toxic to dogs
#12: Onions - can cause vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea
#13: Tomatoes - The green parts of the plant are toxic on the vine ripened plant. The red part is fine, but eating too many tomatoes could make them sick
Dogs love routines, schedules and no variety with their food or food schedules. Make sure you start off with a good schedule and routine as soon as you get home. Initially, your dog may not be interested in eating right away, and if you attempt to offer food and there is no interest, he or she could be still trying to get to know the new surroundings.
Always have fresh water available. Try offering a little kibble, but don’t make the food available all day long. If the dog does not want to eat out of a bowl, try offering some out of your hand to help them get to know and trust you. Try to offer some wet/kibble food, whatever was different from what you started out with.
Make sure you feed during the newly prescribed scheduled times that you’ll plan on feeding and if after a couple of days you dog is still not eating, make a plan to visit the vet to find out if there might be some digestive issues or other reasons you might not be aware of.
There are a few periods to consider to help your dog adjust to your new home. Think of this in terms of 3s.
3 Days at a minimum - is the initial period as the dog transitions from rescue, shelter to your home. This is a much different place than where he was used to coming from, which could have been very noisy, with other dogs all around barking and activity in and out of the shelter.
Do expect him to sleep a lot the first few days. He may not have had a chance to get enough sleep previously.
3 Weeks - Now your dog is getting used to your routine. When you go to work, leave for the gym, and your partner coming and going. They start picking up on the daily schedule at this point. They also know when the next meal is and to avoid jumping on your bed.
3 Months - Now they are officially feeling “home”. With good behavior and training they’ll feel very settled by this point. Make sure to have patience and a sense of humor - you’ll both need it during this period of adjustment.
There’s lots to consider. Make sure you’re as prepared well ahead of the day you plan on bringing home your new rescue. This will make the introduction to your home that much easier.
During this period its best to make sure you establish your daily routines for sleeping, feeding, walks, and relationship building.
Hope you found this information helpful as you welcome in a new rescue to your home!
I'm Janet, avid rescue dog fan, and parent of two rescues - training them to run, hike, and enjoy their new forever home